What is Zendesk and Why Do You Need It?

Updated: Sep 6

An integral part of any type of customer-service business is properly building and maintaining positive relationships with their customer base. By fostering a positive relationship with your customers, you’re more likely to achieve financial success and growth within your business. But how exactly can you foster those good relationships?

With customer service software programs, like Zendesk, you gain access to a variety of channels for communication with your customer base. From ticketing systems to community forums, there’s no better way to receive feedback from those whom you serve.

In this article, we’re going to cover exactly what is Zendesk and all of the features the software offers. We’ll also go over the costs to use the program and discuss why businesses need this type of platform.

WHAT IS ZENDESK?

Zendesk is a CRM-software company that is designed for improving customer relationships with a business. In other words, Zendesk is like a one-stop shop for everything you need for interacting with new and returning customers.

On top of that, Zendesk also helps make it easy for you to keep track of various customer support inquiries, quickly answer any questions, and monitor the effectiveness of a customer service agent.

Products sold by Zendesk are generally pretty easy to set up and navigate once they’ve been installed. With the various CRM tools made available through this software, you can quickly answer questions through the Zendesk ticketing system and engage in community forums when needed.

What is a CRM?


CRM is an acronym for Customer Relations Management. CRM is a type of technology that helps you manage your company’s relationships with new and returning customers. Usually when you hear someone talk about “CRM,” it’s to explain various types of customer interaction like contact or sales management. This type of software is integral in improving relationships, streamlining support processes, and increasing your business’s profitability. In other words, CRM tools are integral in ensuring you maintain a healthy customer base within your business to help it grow.

HOW TO USE ZENDESK

Zendesk offers a 30-day free trial, which gives you access to everything included in the Zendesk Plus plan. Unlike other platforms, you don’t need to provide a credit card until after your free trial expires. This is really nice because it gives you a chance to try out the platform and see if it’s the right fit for your business.

The free trial also gives you time to familiarize yourself with the layout before you spend the money on a membership. Once your 30-day trial expires, you’ll be prompted to choose one of five services: essential, team, professional, enterprise, and elite.

Depending on the plan you choose, the features you have access to will vary. Once you decide on a plan, you can use what you learned during your free trial and finish exploring the various features offered for the plan you chose.

How Much Does Zendesk Cost?


The cost to use Zendesk is dependent upon the service plan you decide to go with. While the essential plan will give you the absolute basics, the elite plan will give you complete access to all of the features available through the Zendesk platform. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each plan costs:



Zendesk Essentials

This plan is good for small businesses as it provides unlimited customer support via email and you can integrate your support systems with your social media channels. You can also set up a basic help center for customers to refer to. This basic help center requires customers to handle problems on their own with the information you provide.

Zendesk Team

This plan is best for medium-sized businesses that need more flexibility. While you receive the same benefits as the essential plan, you also have the ability to customize your help center. Part of this customization includes utilizing Google Analytics and the Zendesk Support Performance Dashboard.

Zendesk Professional

The professional plan is ideal for larger businesses that want to handle a better volume of global support inquiries. This plan allows you to create an internal agent knowledge base to give your agents a guide for solving issues faster and more efficiently. It also lets you offer support in multiple languages, create customer satisfaction surveys, and give you access to a time-tracking app for your agents.

Zendesk Enterprise

The Enterprise Plan gives large companies total control over their system. In addition to the features offered in the professional plan, Enterprise customers also receive access to the Zendesk Launch Guidance program, the built-in Guided Mode, and the ability to create up to five branded help centers.

Zendesk Elite

The Elite plan is an upgrade specifically for Enterprise customers. Elite gives you access to an unlimited number of light agents, unlimited brand help centers, a 99% up-time guarantee SLA, a guaranteed one-hour response time when systems fail, advanced encryption data, and HIPAA compliance assistance.

ZENDESK FEATURES

Of all the features offered on the Zendesk platform, there are a few key features that are worth noting: the Zendesk ticketing system, the Zendesk knowledge base software, and Zendesk community forums. These features are what make this software beneficial to business owners who are looking to help strengthen their customer relationships.

Ticketing System

The Zendesk ticketing system allows you to collect all support requests submitted by customers and keep them in one place. Zendesk even gives you the ability to connect all of your social media channels for your business to the ticketing system so anytime a support ticket is submitted, it goes straight to a universal inbox.

That inbox makes responding to tickets much faster and far more efficient than checking each individual platform.

Knowledge Base Software

This type of software helps you create and organize your support content to share with customers, agents, and the general public. For smaller businesses, this may look like a FAQ page while larger companies may use an entire site dedicated to various aspects of the business.

Zendesk also allows you to separate these knowledge bases, which means you can limit access to specific pages to only agents, only customers, or a general audience.

Community Forums

The best way to broaden your customer base is by actively participating in community forums. Not only that, but the feedback you receive in this community forums allows you to grow within your business and enhance the customer experience for the future.

Beyond that, community forums give previous customers the opportunity to answer questions when your support load is overloaded.

WHAT IS THE ZENDESK SUITE?

The Zendesk Suite is an additional tool you can purchase separately from your general Zendesk subscription. The all-in-one suite consists of the most popular products they offer for an additional monthly fee of $89 for the Professional plan and $149 for the Enterprise plan.

Of the features offered in the Zendesk suite, there are four that are worth highlighting: support, guide, chat, and talk. Let’s explore each one in more detail:

  • Zendesk Support: This is the support ticketing system Zendesk customers use to keep track of support inquiries made by their customers.

  • Zendesk Guide: Zendesk Guide is the platform’s self-service knowledge base that allows you to give answers to your agents and customers faster and more efficiently.

  • Zendesk Chat: Zendesk Chat is a live instant messaging system that lets you talk to customers in real-time. This feature also adds to ticket response efficiency.

  • Zendesk Talk: This software is an integrated call center that helps give more personalized support when necessary. By talking through a phone call, help can be given faster and more efficiently for tougher issues.

WHY DO BUSINESSES NEED ZENDESK?

Businesses can benefit from using Zendesk for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most prominent advantage to using Zendesk is that it’s an innovative way for businesses and companies to interact and maintain healthy relationships with their general customer base.

With all of the features available, you can really personalize your customers’ help experience depending on their needs. Setting up Zendesk is easy to do and the company is always available when you need help navigating certain areas.

This CRM software is ideal for businesses of any size as you have the option to choose between five different plans based on the size of your business and what you need to interact with your customers.